Archive for category Food and Wine

Where to Stay for the South Beach Wine & Food Festival

South Beach Wine & Food FestivalThe Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE has become one of the country’s biggest and most anticipated culinary events. Bringing together the world’s best chefs, restaurateurs, winemakers, and more, the festival runs from February 21st – 24th, and is a chance to taste what’s hot in the kitchen and the vineyard. Whether you’re interested in technical, sit-down tastings or simply cutting loose with celebrity chefs, great wine and killer food, you’ll love the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Pick and choose from the dozens of events happening in and around South Beach at some of the area’s hottest spots for dining, drinking and dancing. What kind of events can visitors expect? Among your options: check out Moët Hennessy’s Q After Dark, featuring celeb chef Curtis Stone, and sip champagne while enjoying music and theatrics on the beach. Play a round of golf in the Celebrity Chef Golf Tournament at the pristine Turnberry Isle Resort. Learn to taste wine like a sommelier at Wine Spectator’s tasting seminar, or hang out with Chef Guy Fieri and Ziggy Marley at their Reggae Jam. Experience the flavors of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival for yourself — you’ll never look at food and wine the same again.

Our Hotel Experts Recommend

The Setai, Miami Beach


SLS South Beach


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Chicago Restaurant Week 2013

Chef BlogChicago has long held the reputation of being a foodie town — from casual eateries to upscale dining, it’s a city that feeds visitors well. Want to see what all the hype is about first-hand? There isn’t a better time to taste the town than during Chicago Restaurant Week. From February 1-10, 2013 over 250 Windy City eateries will offer diners the chance to taste their culinary creations for a fraction of the regular price. Participating restaurants offer special prix fixe menus (often multi-course) for either lunch or dinner ($22 for the former or $33-$44 for the latter). From homestyle Italian to upscale French cuisine to sushi, curry and beyond, Chicago Restaurant Week has something for even the pickiest palate. Reservations aren’t required, but are certainly recommended. For a list of participating restaurants or to make reservations online, check out

Our Luxury Hotel Experts Recommend:

PUBLIC Chicago

theWit Hotel Chicago

Trump International Chicago

See all of our Chicago Luxury Hotels

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May 16-19, 2012Presented by Whole Foods Market

The fifth annual New Taste of the Upper West Side has inked in exciting additions to its roster of returning crowd pleasers. For the past five years the event has celebrated the Upper West Side’s lively community and exceptional culinary culture. For three nights in May, the New Taste of the Upper West Side will showcase top chefs and restaurants for a spectacular line-up of festivities.

Vegetables at Dovetail kicks off things on Wednesday, May 16th with a five-course vegetarian tasting dinner. Chefs John Fraser, Missy Robbins, Bill Telepan, Ed Brown, and Christina Tosi create a five-course all-vegetarian dinner. Net proceeds will help support the Greenhouse Classroom project at the I.S. 44 School. The Greenhouse Classroom will educate students about science, while growing organic hydroponic vegetables. Vegetables at Dovetail: Wednesday, May 16th 2012 6:30 Cocktails; 7 p.m. Dinner $195 per person. Dovetail Restaurant 103 W 77th Street.

Festivities resume on Friday May 18th, with the much anticipated return of crowd favorite, Comfort Classics, held under the Grand Tent on Columbus Avenue between W 76th and W 77th Street. Hosted by Travel Channel’s duo Adam Richman and Andrew Zimmern, this high-octane fête will feature 35 chefs crafting postmodern bites inspired by old school dishes. Wine and spirits provided by Southern Wine & Spirits. Comfort Classics: Friday, May 18th, 2012 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. $95 per person.

Saturday night, May 19th wraps up the weekend with Best of the West and a star-studded VIP Reception honoring legendary New York food critic, Gael Greene. With more than 40 of New York’s top chefs, wine and spirits, and live music, this is a must-taste event.VIPtickets grant you access to the culinary stars. Modern Mixologist, Tony Abou-Ganim highlights proceedings with his signature cocktails. Proceeds will benefit the Columbus Avenue BID’s Streetscape Beautification Project and City meals-on-Wheels. Best of the West: Saturday, May 19th, 2012VIP, $200 per person beginning at 6:00 p.m. General Admission $125 per person from 7:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

Tickets for the Fifth Annual 2012 Whole Foods Market’s New Taste of the Upper West Side are on sale now. For more information, call (212) 721-5048.

We recommend staying at,

Trump International New York is the pinnacle of modern luxury, combining beautiful accommodations with intuitive service. Located near Lincoln Center and Fifth Avenue shopping, the 5 star Trump enjoys the best of east and west. Steps from their front door are the natural splendor of Central Park and the man-made treasure that is the Time Warner Center. This 5 star hotel is only a few short blocks away from the festivities.

The chic, candle-lit lobby with soaring ceilings and geometric black and white patterns tiled on the floor gives the first impression of a fun, modern boutique hotel that is The Empire Hotel. Animal print throw pillows nestle onto oversized curved couches, inviting guests to linger and share a drink or a bit of gossip. Located on 63rd at Broadway on the Upper West Side, The Empire Hotel is moments from Lincoln Center and Columbus Circle, as well as occupying an enviable location near Central Park.

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Perfection? PER SE, Thomas Keller’s New York restaurant overlooking Central Park has been drawing the moneyed and gastronomic élite in droves for a reason. Perfection may be it. Recently named the Sixth Best Restaurant In The World and the Best Restaurant In North America, gastronomes globally have given a nod to the near perfect execution and flavour experience Thomas Keller offers at PER SE. As stated in its mission statement, PER SE is an urban interpretation of The French Laundry, Keller’s California restaurant long-touted as the finest in the United States. So, the accolades really come as no surprise. Nor does Keller’s 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Faultless delivery and relentless scrutiny of each dish ensures that the daily-changing menu never grows flaccid or stale. The service, wine list and quiet luxury of the space is impeccable and deeply considered, as is the remarkable food. In the end, all the marvelous views, plush pews, sharply tailored wait staff, blue-aproned kitchen staff, roaring fireplaces and foxtail lilies mean nothing unless the food comes through with flying colours. And it does, in a big way.

The nine-course vegetable tasting features such sublime creations as Armando Manni Olive Oil “Royale”, a vivacious blend of pale green almonds, tender herbs and Meyer lemon “aigre -doux.” Other vegetable delights include a Green Tomato Sherbet served with a pumpernickel tea sandwich, and Austrian White Asparagus Veronique. The brilliant nine-course chef’s tasting includes the famous Oysters and Pearls (one of the mercurial menu’s mainstays), and Butter Poached Nova Scotia Lobster, a dish that should be served in Heaven if it isn’t.

Designer Adam Tihany has moodily toned the main dining room in muted gray and browns. There’s also a salon, bar, wine cellar, and a private room for 10 and another that accommodates 60 people. The wait staff wear stiff dark suits and Armani ties, and perform as silently as mimes. There’s nothing reticent about the food, however, which is beautiful, elegant and polyglot. That said, the Coffee and Doughnuts (when listed) are loud and proud.

PER SE 10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019 (212) 823-9335 (We suggest you book at least 2 months in advance)

If You Love Decadent Dining Then Stay at,

At the Trump International Hotel New York, a culinary feast awaits at 5 star and 3 Michelin starred international restaurant, Jean-Georges. This 5 star hotel is the pinnacle of modern luxury, combining beautiful accommodations with intuitive service. Located near Lincoln Center and Fifth Avenue shopping, the 5 star Trump enjoys the best of east and west.

The Setai Fifth Avenue is sculptural lines and a modern aesthetic, combined with an Asian-inspired simplicity that brings out the “Zen” in guests. At the 5 star Setai NYC, guests are moments from world-class shopping on Fifth Avenue, which hosts retailers ranging from Macy’s to Tiffany’s, and everything in between. Enjoy exquisite Mediterranean cuisine at Ai Fiorim, a Michelin star restaurant.


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Thursday May 3, 2012

Oscar Hammerstein Ballroom

Over five hundred wines, spirits and beers from around the world to tantalize the palate! No, that’s no misprint. That’s what Toast of the Town’s annual gala boasts in what may be New York City’s finest wine-tasting event. Make no mistake, this isn’t just another wine-tasting: it’s a taste experience. In addition to a global range of beverages, this Wine Enthusiast-sponsored event promises you a direct and harmonious experience of superb drink in combination with inspired and fitting food, music, and setting choices. If you have an appetite for the beautiful things in life look no further.

Thirty-five of the city’s best restaurants will prepare signature dishes to accompany the featured wines. Culinary creations from the area’s top chefs will be paired with intriguing wines selected by master sommeliers. Music will be provided by the Jonny Hirsch Band, led by one of New York City’s most scintillating saxophonists. As for the setting, what could be more elegant than The Oscar Hammerstein Ballroom, a monument of aesthetic grandeur? Toast of the Town offers a veritable feast for the senses.

Sip, socialize and delight your palate with beautiful wines from every corner of the world. Wine as a cultural ambassador? What a lovely thought: from Marlborough, New Zealand to Montalcino, Italy, a delicious trip around the world. And you don’t need a passport (just your guest pass). For a evening of sumptuous wines, spirits, music, and the tastiest gourmet food the city has to offer take in Talk of the Town, a Wonderland for oenophiles and foodies.

VIP Tasting: 6-7 p.m.+ Admission to the Grand Tasting.VIPTickets include early entrance to the event, exclusive access to hundreds of reserve wines, one-on-wine talks with the wine makers and interaction with the restaurateurs.

GRAND Tasting: 7-10 p.m.

Oscar Hammerstein Ballroom 311 West 34th Street, New York, NY 10001 | To order tickets call 888-695-0888, or for info call 800-847-5947.


Like wine? The nearby Eventi hotel offers a complimentary wine reception each night from 5pm until 7pm. This 4.5 star Kimpton Hotel has all the features one would expect; soothing spa, fabulous fitness center, bustling bar. However, Eventi is also home to FoodParc, a unique concept in hotel dining that is garnering rave reviews.

The St. Regis Hotel New York is known for its opulence as well as it’s prestigious wine library at Adour, the hotel’s AAA Four Diamond Restaurant Award, maintained since 2008. From Waterford crystal chandeliers in all rooms to a sumptuous marble-clad lobby, Regis New York is the epitome of beauty, luxury, and the best that money can buy. This dedication to excellence has resulted in St. Regis NY being recognized with the Mobil Five Star and AAA Five Diamond awards for 14 consecutive years.

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Café Luxembourg, a bijou of a bistro, has been called the blueprint for a faultless urban eatery. Nevertheless, it remains a charming one-off in a city of some 20,000 restaurants. With its Gallic mien—yellow walls, red banquettes, Jean Perzel fixtures, cream tiles, mirrored columns—and a menu combining French stalwarts and American favorites, goût délicieux is a given.

Reasonable prices, an affable, attentive staff, and Manhattan glamour have made Café Luxembourg a quiet Upper West Side magnet for sophisticated celebs (Al Pacino has been known to drop in), nostalgic Euros, suave politicos, and loyal locals, who come here not just for the vibe but particularly for the food. It’s just one of those places that galvanizes a certain, in-the-know New York crowd.

Dishes that might seem passé on paper arrive not reinvented but refreshed. Salmon chunks resting on hot-chili cucumbers bring zing to the fish. A wicked saffron aioli animates crunchy, cornmeal-crusted oysters. The duck cassoulet invokes Provence. And the Luxemburger, yes the Luxemburger, warrants light applause when it appears. An exquisite hangar steak and frites deserves a blue ribbon for its red wine sauce. Perhaps the true reward is return customers who order it like beef will soon be illegal. The country salad, oysters and steak tartare are snappy starters, and a humboldt fog cheese plate goes down well with Belgian beer.

This restaurant, which opened in 1983, hasn’t lost a soupçon of its savoir faire or saveur. The most radiant panel of the red and gold-cornered menu is the final one: the magnifique desserts. A cool ramekin of burnished crème brûlée affirms just why everybody loves the Lux. Prix-Fixe Three-course lunch, $30; three-course dinner, $44.

200 W. 70th St., New York, NY 10023 | 212-873-7411 |

Hotels Nearby

The Empire Hotel: The chic, candle-lit lobby with soaring ceilings and geometric black and white patterns tiled on the floor gives the first impression of a fun, modern 3.5 star boutique hotel. Animal print throw pillows nestle onto oversized curved couches, inviting guests to linger and share a drink or a bit of gossip.

Trump International New York is the pinnacle of modern luxury, combining beautiful accommodations with intuitive service. Located near Lincoln Center and Fifth Avenue shopping, the 5 star Trump enjoys the best of east and west. Steps from their front door are the natural splendor of Central Park and the man-made treasure that is the Time Warner Center.

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March 17th, 2012

Boston St. Patrick's Day

Besides Dublin itself, you couldn’t pick a better city than Boston to observe St. Patrick’s Day. With its deep Irish roots and resonant Irish mythos, Boston remains one of the top destinations around the world for St. Patrick’s Day. From the South Boston parade to pub crawls, Irish music, the Irish Heritage Trail, no Celtic stone is left unturned in Beantown’s full-blooded St. Paddy’s Day celebrations.

Get into the mood with The Chieftains on Wednesday, Mar 14 8:00 p.m. at Boston Symphony Hall. The six-time Grammy winners have garnered world fame playing traditional Irish music. Paddy Moloney and band return for a pre-St. Patrick’s Day bash and a prelude to the Guinness tsunami.

Speaking of which, this year the World’s Largest Pub Crawls hopes to make history yet again in Boston. Up to the challenge? Join the Luck of the Irish St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl, enlisting some of Boston’s best bars, and offering great drink specials. With its surfeit of pubs, cocktail lounges, and hotels, Boston’s bar scene is considered one of the liveliest in the U.S. and exploring it on your own is an option. Compact, walkable, culturally rich, metropolitan Boston offers an A-Z of quality drinking establishments.

Start with ALIBI, a smooth lounge bar housed in the stylish Liberty Hotel (215 Charles Street). The hotel was once the Charles Street Jail, and Alibi retains remnants of its earlier incarnation with prison bars and floor outlines of old cells. And, as the name suggests, DRINK (348 Congress Street) is a bar that celebrates the wet stuff in all its variations, and tops the list for creative cocktails in Boston. Want to dress up? Try the elegant Bristol Lounge at the Four Seasons (200 Boylston Street), or the low-lit Vox Populi (755 Boylston), appointed with with inviting banquettes. Later, walk on the wild side to The Franklin Café (278 Shawmut Avenue), a cultish late-night neighbourhood café bar where local chefs and waiters wind down—so it has quality grub too.

And what would St. Patrick’s Day be without a parade? The City of Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade takes place on Sunday March 18 1:00 p.m. at Broadway MBTA Station. Bring your shamrocks and shillelaghs. And if you’re in town for the week don’t miss the 13th Annual Irish Film Festival, taking place March 22 – March 25, 2012 at the Somerville Theater, Somerville and the Brattle Theater, Cambridge.

WHERE TO STAY: The Back Bay Hotel is a historical landmark in the city of Boston. Once a former Police Station, the Back Bay Hotel is a one-of-a-kind 4 star boutique property in Back Bay, one of the most sought after locations in all of Boston with nearby attractions including Newbury Street, Boston Common and the Public Gardens.

The Onyx Hotel offers contemporary style, complimentary wine receptions every evening and is a pet-friendly hotel. Only minutes from Faneuil Hall and the North Station, the luxury Onyx Hotel Downtown Boston has been awarded with the coveted Green Seal Silver Certification. Book with us for incredible rates during the month of March.

Enjoy a 5 star stay at the Boston Harbor Hotel. An architectural masterpiece, The Boston Harbor Hotel is conveniently located on the historic Rowes Wharf, one of the most scenic locations in the city. Inspiration from its surroundings and of the area’s colonial past, filters seamlessly in to the hotel and is visible in both the public spaces and spacious guestrooms.

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